FortisBC gets approval to raise electricity rates Jan. 1, 2021 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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FortisBC gets approval to raise electricity rates Jan. 1, 2021

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Fortis B.C.
November 26, 2020 - 2:50 PM

FortisBC will be increasing electricity rates as of Jan. 1.

FortisBC has received interim approval from the British Columbia Utilities Commission to increase rates by 4.36 per cent as of Jan 1, 2021, according to a FortisBC media release.

Customers who use an average 12,000 kilowatt hours per year of electricity would see their monthly bills increase by about $7.30 per month, FortisBC said.

“We strive to operate efficiently and keep rates at the lowest possible cost,” said Diane Roy, vice president, regulatory affairs, FortisBC, in the release. “However, increases are sometimes needed so FortisBC can make necessary system improvements and long-term investments that ensure our customers will always have the power they need, when they need it.”

The FortisBC electric rate increase was one per cent in January 2020, and previous to that, 2.76 per cent in 2017.

These new rates reflect what FortisBC must charge to execute its plans for 2021 and maintain the system effectively for its customers.

The company plans to spend approximately $72 million in electric infrastructure improvements in the coming year. This includes the yearly investments the company makes to sustain its pole structures, power lines and equipment as well as work on multi-year upgrade projects.

Right now, the company is continuing to make major upgrades to two hydroelectric facilities and plans to upgrade three of its substations and associated transmission lines in 2021. These investments will help ensure the continued reliability of the system and meet the increasing longer-term energy needs of FortisBC customers, according to its news release.

These rates are approved on an interim, refundable basis. A final decision on permanent rates is expected in early 2021.

FortisBC also help customers manage their energy use through its many energy conservation and rebate programs, including programs for customers on limited incomes. It is also on track to phase out two-tiered residential rates by 2023.

For more information about current rates, and how rates are set, visit the company's website here.

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